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Doctor insights on: Sternum Healing After Open Heart Surgery

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Would you still have numbness in the sternum area ten months after open heart surgery?

Would you still have numbness in the sternum area ten months after open heart surgery?

Possibly: Scar tissue stays numb. Particularly if an artery in your chest (the left internal mammary artery) was harvested as part of your surgery, you can expect numbness for many months. ...Read more

Dr. Frederick Tibayan
358 Doctors shared insights

Heart Surgery (Definition)

Open intervention on the heart to correct congenital cardiac anomalies, repair replace heart valves, ascending aortic dissection repair, coronary bypass, heart transplant, surgical removal of heart tumors, ventricular assist devices, cox maze procedures to cure atrial fibrillation, repair of trauma to the heart. Repair of iatrogenic injuries to heart, heart-lung ...Read more


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After open heart surgery what are some challanges people usually face with a broken sternum? I just want to know what to expect

After open heart surgery what are some challanges people usually face with a broken sternum? I just want to know what to expect

Limit use of arms: There is so much you do with your arms without thinking. You push off with hands on thighs to stand. You use arms to adjust yourself in chair or bed. All of this puts pressure on sternum. I limit patients to 10 lb 6 wks then 25 lb for another 6 weeks. And no pushing or pulling for 3 months. Coughing and sneezing can be uncomfortable also. ...Read more

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Does the sternum fuse together after open heart surgery and how long does it take?

Does the sternum fuse together after open heart surgery and how long does it take?

Yes, like bone fract: The sternum is a bone & heals like any other bone. It is "fractured" (cut) at the start of open heart surgery. At the end of surgery, the sternum is usually "sewn up" using metal wires to hold the 2 parts together. Further bone healing (fusion) occurs over the course of 3-6 months (eg, as with a broken arm). Wires hold the sternum together in that time & fuse with bone as it heals. Ask surgeon. ...Read more

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After open heart surgery I want to punch my heavy bag for excercise. I know it will put a lot of pressure on my sternum. It has been twenty weeks?

After open heart surgery I want to punch my heavy bag for excercise. I know it will put a lot of pressure on my sternum. It has been twenty weeks?

OK: Your sternum has healed to almost full strength. You can start a punching bag routine. You will probably develop some chest wall or muscle pain as you start the exercise - because you haven't used your muscles to this extent since the operation. Listen to your body and start gradually and workup to the level that you performed prior to surgery. ...Read more

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Hi I'm getting open heart surgery in 2 months I'm wondering if there is anyway they won't have to break my sternum? Will I lose muscle after surgery?

Hi I'm getting open heart surgery in 2 months I'm wondering if there is anyway they won't have to break my sternum? Will I lose muscle after surgery?

Yes depends on type: For instance mitral valve repair, atrial septal defect repair can be performed via small incision on the right side of chest and aortic valve replacement can be performed via small incision at the top of the chest. ...Read more

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My mom had open heart surgery in may but continues to have pain all around the area and the doctors say it's her sternum is it possible?

My mom had open heart surgery in may but continues to have pain all around the area and the doctors say it's her sternum is it possible?

Chest pain: Absolutely. The sternum was cut opened and it is likely going to remain tender and sore for sometime. Your mother should follow her surgeon's recommendations and rest assured it is normal. ...Read more

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What is the healing time with staph infection after open heart surgery?

Dr. Tony Ho Dr. Ho
1 doctor agreed:
What is the healing time with staph infection after open heart surgery?

Depends: It depends on how deep the infection is; a superficial infection can often be cleared in a couple of weeks. The deeper the infection, the longer the antibiotic course/risk of complications. The other variable would be if this is a mssa or a MRSA infection, and the choice of antibiotic. ...Read more

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When a breastbone is cracked open during open heart surgery, does it ever grow back together?

When a breastbone is cracked open during open heart surgery, does it ever grow back together?

Yes: Like any broken bone, the sternum can heal. It can also fail to heal, leaving one with a mobile chest wall. That is, fortunately, a lot less likely. ...Read more

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I had open heart surgery now having sharp pains in the chest what could be the problem?

I had open heart surgery now having sharp pains in the chest what could be the problem?

Incision: Usually sharp pain after a sternotomy is incisional. You might have pulled something if you were overexerting yourself. If pain meds don't make it improve then make appointment to see your surgeon. ...Read more

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Why can't people who have had open heart surgery ever recieve cpr treatment?

Why can't people who have had open heart surgery ever recieve cpr treatment?

They can...: In open heart surgery, the breast bone is sawed in half long ways, but is tied back together with strong steel twist ties until it heals, in about six weeks. Once healed, it will actually be stronger than it was before. During healing, it is weaker, and if pushed on hard like in CPR it may not heal correctly, but you can live with a mal-union sternum, so CPR should not be withheld. ...Read more

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Chest pain that started the night my dad had open heart surgery. I had stress tests and everything says I'm fine. Still have chest pain. Just anxiety?

Chest pain that started the night my dad had open heart surgery. I had stress tests and everything says I'm fine. Still have chest pain. Just anxiety?

Most likely: Chest pain in a 23 year old is very unusual for it to be the real thing -- i.e. Coronary artery disease from cholesterol build-up. Probably is anxiety as u know your dad had CABG. BUT if you are diabetic and/or known obesity and/or excess LDL, then chest pain can be real. BUT if you are healthy, young, fit individual without major risk factors then ought not to be coronary artery disease. ...Read more

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I had a open heart surgery about a year ago becuz I had a heart murmur. Since then, I sometimes feel pain from my chest and heart, it occur when I walk and lay on my front for awhile. It's that normal?

I had a open heart surgery about a year ago becuz I had a heart murmur. Since then, I sometimes feel pain from my chest and heart, it occur when I walk and lay on my front for awhile. It's that normal?

Get evaluated: One year later, chest pain with exercise should be evaluated. This could be angina. Your age makes it less likely there is coronary artery disease, however you should get testing. Go see a cardiologist. Ask for stress testing or angiogram of your coronary vessels. Be well. ...Read more

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How long does it take for the breastbone to fuse after an open-heart surgery?

How long does it take for the breastbone to fuse after an open-heart surgery?

6-8 weeks: The sternum heals like any broken bone in your body, taking 6-8 weeks to fully heal. ...Read more

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39 years ago I had open heart surgery at the age of 3. Ever since, I have lived with the sensation that my chest will tear apart. Its getting worse.

39 years ago I had open heart surgery at the age of 3. Ever since, I have lived with the sensation that my chest will tear apart. Its getting worse.

Unlikely: What was done?
Cured?
Or may need additional work.
Good choices:
no smoking
weight control.
Get checked by thoracic surgeon for any instability of bone - sternum.
At 39 years should be solid bone unless there was an infection or fibrous non- union and fluid. ...Read more

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How long does it take for ones chest to heal from open heart surgery? And how long does it take to fully recover?

How long does it take for ones chest to heal from open heart surgery? And how long does it take to fully recover?

Variable: It generally takes a year to fully recover after open heart surgery, though the wounds will be healed after a couple of weeks. ...Read more

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I recently had open heart surgery to correct endocarditis effects. Now I am suffering from chest pain and cold sweats during exercise. Is this normal?

I recently had open heart surgery to correct endocarditis effects. Now I am suffering from chest pain and cold sweats during exercise. Is this normal?

Exercise: No it is not normal.
You need to see the surgeon as soon as possible.
It might be wise to go today to the nearest Emergency Facility to make sure that things are OK for now while waiting for a doctor's appointment. ...Read more

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Dad had coronary stents and now he has severe chest pain and dyspnea his cardiac contractility function is 32 % is he in need of open heart surgery?

Ask docs: Sounds like you want to check with his cardiologist. I would also advise to see a second opinion cardiologist to feel comfortable about decisions. ...Read more

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Why are the following tests done preoperatively for open heart surgery? Echo...chest X-ray.....pfts.....and urinalysis?

Why are the following tests done preoperatively for open heart surgery? Echo...chest X-ray.....pfts.....and urinalysis?

Preparation: You are having surgery for a reason. Preparation makes the surgery safer by finding issues that would be problems if they were not known. Overall, the better prepared you and you surgeon are, the better the results. ...Read more

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Husband to go to the ER because he is complaining that his chest hurts, he has COPD and he had open heart surgery in oct three years ago, I found him in respiratory failure, he had a trak, prone to get bronchitis and a host of other medical problems. Th

Husband to go to the ER because he is complaining that his chest hurts, he has COPD and he had open heart surgery in oct three years ago, I found him in respiratory failure, he had a trak, prone to get bronchitis and a host of other medical problems. Th

Yes: Got to the er for chest pain. Go to the er for respiratory failure (sob, difficulty breathing, air hunger) although it could also be cardiac failure secondary to a heart attack or angina.
Combination of COPD and heart disease is not good so must see cardiologist and pulmonologist/or internist (if comfortable in managing sever respiratory problems). Past h/o a trach makes him high risk. ...Read more

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Can you die from CHF I have it real bad my chest stays hurting and I'm swollen all over I have type 2 Diabetes and my father he done had 5 heart attacks he got the same thing and he had open heart surgery and they had to put stints in his heart valves and

Can you die from CHF I have it real bad my chest stays hurting and I'm swollen all over I have type 2 Diabetes and my father he done had 5 heart attacks he got the same thing and he had open heart surgery and they had to put stints in his heart valves and

Yes: Unfortunately, heart failure is very serious and progression is life threatening. There have been great strides in improving outcomes, but any effective treatment relies on patients learning about the disease and knowing how to respond to symptoms, how to effectively manage fluids, and how to make heart healthy lifestyle decisions. If the chest pain is new, head to the ED tonight. ...Read more

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What is best to eat after open heart surgery?

What is best to eat after open heart surgery?

Low cholesterol diet: To slow down the atherosclerotic process, a low cholesterol, low sodium diet with fish instead of red meat and polyunsaturated instead of animal fats is ideal. ...Read more

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Why would seroma develop after open heart surgery?

Why would seroma develop after open heart surgery?

Where?: Any incision may have some bleeding- -and a hematoma may develop. This can become a seroma over time as the blood is resorbed.
Or some lymphatic s are disrupted and fluid escapes into tissue.
Tissue juices and serum can remain in a wound as well.
Most are temporary.

All are resolvable. See the surgeon. ...Read more

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Why are arteries closed after open heart surgery?

Why are arteries closed after open heart surgery?

Many reasons: There are many reasons why arteries are closed after coronary artery surgery. Remember that surgery "bypasses" and does not remove blockages. Most importantly surgery does not chnage the medical problems which caused the blockages (such as cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle) and unless these are addressed the arteries will continue to close. ...Read more

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Is it ok to play ball after open heart surgery?

Is it ok to play ball after open heart surgery?

Yes, but...: You need to wait at least a couple of months for the sternum to heal completely. Early activity can lead to sternal dehisence (the breastbone splits open) which can have deadly consequences. After everything has healed, you can do everything you did before surgery. ...Read more

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How to prevent infection after open heart surgery?

Multiple: Well cleaned preop
bactrian nasally
excellent prophylactic antibiotics given on time
careful prep of skin
excellent surgical technique and tissue handling and careful closure
Ŕll are standard practices but there is still an incidence if infection:
diabetes
obesity
contamination
etc. ...Read more

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I feel dizzy spells after open heart surgery?

I feel dizzy spells after open heart surgery?

Have it checked: After surgery you may have anemia (low blood count) or hypotension/ dehydrtation, etc.
You should have it checked by your cardiologist or pcp. Could need something as simple as adjusting medications. ...Read more

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Could there be calf soreness after open heart surgery?

Blood clot in vein?!: This is not a common symptom following heart surgery. Of course, anyone can have any symptom, especially if you have been in bed and not using your muscles in one part of the body and they have atrophied. But one thing to rule out is dvt, i.e. Blood clot in veins of the legs. This is not uncommon in people following major surgery, cardiac included, due to inactivity and stasis of blood in the veins. ...Read more

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Is it normal to cough up some blood after open heart surgery? Post op day 3

Is it normal to cough up some blood after open heart surgery? Post op day 3

On call surgeon: If you had open heart surgery & are coughing up blood, you should contact the on-call surgeon immediately. ...Read more

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What person lived longest after open heart surgery?

What person lived longest after open heart surgery?

Non likely known: Well one of my patients had the surgery in 1972 so that's about forty years. She is doing fine so maybe she will be #1 someday but I doubt if anyone knows. I'm sure someone can beat 40 years. ...Read more

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Is it rare to heal quickly after open heart surgery?

NO.: Standard midline sternal approaches take two months to heal completely. Less invasive approaches may heal more quickly and allow for quicker return to activities and work. ...Read more

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After open heart surgery rashes around the wound? Why?

After open heart surgery rashes around the wound? Why?

Rash: Most likely fro the tape or dressing. Redness may be just normal healing or inception. It needs to be serially followed. The incision needs to be washed with soap and water. ...Read more

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After open heart surgery about 5 weeks now is it normal to be experiencing pain and stiffness in neck, head, shoulders and heart?

Depends: On your problem. How u- important it may look bring to the attention of your doctor (s). Your doctor will make sure is not procedure related. ...Read more

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After open heart surgery. When will I be able to lift heavy weights again? And do people usually lose significant weight after surgery?

After open heart surgery. When will I be able to lift heavy weights again? And do people usually lose significant weight after surgery?

3 months & yes: I typically restrict lifting, pushing and pulling for 3 months following heart surgery thru standard incision. 1 month for min invasive approach. I keep them to 10 lbs for 6 weeks and 25 lbs for another 6 weeks. Weight loss. I usually tell patients to expect to loose 10 to 30 pounds over 2-3 months after surgery. Unfortunately they often gain it all back w/in a yr. ...Read more

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How can I treat a cough after open heart surgery that is not pulmonary or reflux related.?

How can I treat a cough after open heart surgery that is not pulmonary or reflux related.?

Cause?: Then what is the cause? Has CHF been ruled out? Asthma? Maybe just irritation from the endotracheal tube? Are you taking an angiotensin inhibitor? (a common cause). The cornerstone of treatment is an accurate diagnosis. ...Read more

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What to do if I have sharp pain around my arm pit left side of my brest bone after open heart surgery. Please help.?

Not from heart: If you had a coronary bypass then the sharp pains to the left of the sternum may be due to the harvesting of the Internal mammary artery which requires cutting the pleura on either side of it. The pleura is highly innervated and cutting the sensory nerves produces a numbness over the left chest for many patients and then "pleuritic " pain as the nerves grow back. See your Surgeon if worried though ...Read more

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What are the foods to be avoided after open heart surgery?

What are the foods to be avoided after open heart surgery?

Valve or vessel?: Prudent diet good idea for all. Avoid high fat, sugary, high salt, processed meats, processed grains. Eat more vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, whole train bread, cereal, pasta, low fat or no fat dairy, poultry, fish. Dash diet (online): dietary approach to stop hypertension is tasty, nutritious, easy, has data supporting its use. There are others as well. Talk to dietician. ...Read more

Open Heart Surgery (Definition)

Not an easy answer. Open heart surgery describes surgical intervention under direct vision involving entering a heart chamber or coronary artery. Percutaneous interventions do not ...Read more